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Double whammy: Oil, shares tumble on OPEC fallout, Coronavirus fears

Asian shares sank on Monday as panicked investors fled to bonds to hedge against the economic shock of the coronavirus and oil prices plunged about 30 percent after Kingdom of Saudi Arabia slashed its official asking price.

The world’s top oil exporter plans to boost its production significantly after the collapse of OPEC’s supply cut agreement with Russia, a grab for market share paying homage to a drive in 2014 that caused prices to slump by about two-thirds.

Coronavirus roils markets: this is often why it matters to everyone
Brent crude futures fell by the maximum amount as $14.25, or 31.5 percent, to $31.02 a barrel. That was the largest percentage drop since January 17, 1991, at the beginning of the primary Gulf War and therefore the lowest price since February 12, 2016. it absolutely was trading at $35.75 at 01:14 GMT.

Japan’s yen, seen by many investors as a safe-haven asset in times of economic weakness, surged against emerging market currencies with exposure to grease, including the Russian rouble and peso, as analysts saw danger ahead.

“Today’s price action puts in danger the fiscal health of the overwhelming majority of sovereign producers and budget cuts and increased debt loads are now looming within the event of a protracted period of low prices,” warned Helima Croft, head of worldwide commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.

“For the foremost politically and economically fragile producer states, the reckoning may be severe.”

There were also worries that us oil producers that had issued plenty of debt would be forced into chapter 11 by the worth drop.

Energy stocks took a beating, with E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 already down 4.7 percent. Japan’s Nikkei fell 4.4 percent and Australia’s commodity-heavy market 5 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 1.2 percent.

“The scale of the collapse shows that any hopes of a short lived respite were vainly,” said Sean Callow, a senior FX strategist at Westpac. “The notion that overweight equities is that the only real option in an exceedingly world of super-low rates now seems to be from ‘The Time Before’.”

“US officials have barely moved beyond platitudes about ‘strong fundamentals’ so there’s surely plenty more room for markets to cost in major damage to the US economy.”

The number of individuals infected with the coronavirus rose above 107,000 across the globe because the outbreak reached more countries and caused more economic carnage.

Italy’s markets are bound to come vulnerable after the govt. ordered a lockdown of huge parts of the north of the country, including the financial capital Milan.

“After every week when the stockpiling of bonds, credit protection and tissue paper became a thing, let’s hope we start to work out some more clarity on the reaction,” said Martin Whetton, head of bond & rates strategy at CBA.

“Dollar bloc central banks cut policy rates by 125 basis points, not as some way to prevent a viral pandemic, but to stem a fear pandemic,” he added, while noting many had little scope to ease further.

Bond bubble
Investors are widely expecting a minimum of a half-percentage-point rate cut from the US Fed at its scheduled policy meeting on March 18 following last week’s emergency easing and a move towards zero shortly after.

The European financial organisation meets on Thursday and can be under intense pressure to act, but rates there are already deeply negative.

“The onus is falling, perhaps inevitably on the actions of governments to abandon budget surpluses and reinvigorate the demand side of the economy,” said Whetton.

Urgent action was clearly needed with data suggesting the world economy slid into recession this quarter. Figures out from China over the weekend showed exports fell 17.2 percent in January-February, from a year earlier.

Analysts at BofA Global Research estimated the most recent sell-off had seen $9 trillion in global equity value vaporised in nine days, while the common 10-year yield within the developed world hit 16 basis points, very cheap in 120 years.

“The clearest outcome of the exogenous COVID-19 shock could be a collapse in bond yields, which once panic fades can induce huge rotation to ‘growth stocks’ and ‘bond proxies’ in equities,” they wrote in an exceedingly client note.

Yields on 10-year US Treasuries plunged to a once-unthinkable 0.51 percent, having halved in exactly eight sessions.

Yields on the 30-year long bond dived 35 basis points on Friday alone, the most important daily drop since the 1987 crash, and were last down further at 1.13 percent.

The tumble in yields and Fed rate expectations have pulled the rug out from under the US dollar, sending it crashing to the most important weekly loss in four years.

The US dollar extended its slide in early Asia to succeed in 103.55 yen, depths not seen since late 2016, while the euro shot to the best in additional than eight months at $1.1387.

Gold jumped 1.6 percent to clear $1,700 per ounce to succeed in a fresh seven-year peak.

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